(Post of The Night) : The Monkey Dancer/ Topeng Monyet/ Ledhek Kethek/ Tandhak Bedhes


In many parts of Indonesia, we can find this street monkey dancer. It is called in various languages and dialects. In Bahasa Indonesia is called Topeng Monyet (Masked Monkey), Standard Javanese named it Ledhek Kethek, while Eastern Javanese speakers (my native tongue) call this as Tandhak Bedhes. Some people make their living by performing monkey, which they train to do some attractions such as dancing, riding motorcycle, go shopping and many more, including playing stilts. The monkey is also dressed like human, and some of them are unfortunately treated badly by their masters. The street monkey dance is usually performed on the intersections, or housings and it is very attractive particularly for the kids. After performing, the monkey then distributes a can or something else for getting some money from the audience.

Maybe in Europe it is quite similar to dancing bear.

I often meet them on the street, or roam around housings around my environment. Sometimes I also meet some of them gather in front of Cathedral, talking about their daily life, as well as how much they get for today.

The money is usually used for its owner’s daily living and for itself. But I feel sad about their fates. Far away from the forest, even some of them have their canines  removed. It is a very old tradition and cannot easily be banished. Exploration on animals has been existed since the first civilization.

Maybe people always talk about animal rights or human rights, but this is very different. Economic is still a very crucial part which must be fulfilled here. At least their treat to those monkeys will be more better. This is a tiny part of Indonesia for you all. Just a tiny part.

Location : Semarang
All photos are mine for you. Please ask permission if you want to use it. Thank you

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30 Comments Add yours

  1. Hanno Phenn says:

    In Europe these Monkey Dancer would be forbidden as the Dancing Bears are forbidden .The reason is Animal cruelty.

    1. Yes, but here is mostly economic motivated, and if economic is not getting better, this practice will be continued. It takes much time.

      1. Hanno Phenn says:

        I do understand that. I just wanted to make you aware of the dilemma .Be prepared to get from western readers of your blog some nasty comments. By the way I won’t ask for permission to use these Pictures ,It is just not my cup of tea.

      2. I know, I just tell the truth and it’s been common for nasty comments. Sometimes I share about something real and ‘naked truth’.

      3. Hanno Phenn says:

        Do that I’ll be with you .I just wanted to warn you .

      4. Hanno Phenn says:

        You are welcome as always.

      5. Hehehehe..yes.
        I know the risk, as everything has got its own risks.

  2. Always hate this. I don’t like to give the owner money, but sometimes I gave the monkey some bananas.

    1. Yeah…that’s reality. Sometimes they treat the monkeys in scary way.

  3. ulillala says:

    haduh cak, bg ne gawe tulisane angel di waca

    1. Hehehehe..padahal wis cetho..refresh meneh

      1. ulillala says:

        koneksi lagi lemot
        dadi bg ne maleh batik kabeh

  4. I understand that some people must do this to make money to survive. I am sorry that the animals are used in this way. I did not know about dancing bears in Europe. So I am happy to learn many things from your blog.

    1. Thank you very much Annie. I just wanna share as far as I know about my country. At least the place where I am living now.

  5. Badai says:

    poor lil monkey 😦

    btw fotonya bagus cak, colorful 🙂

    1. Heheh…makasih ya Om
      Masih amatir nih.

  6. tinsyam says:

    sedih deh topeng monyet masih ada.. kasian toh monyet dibully gitu.. dijadikan tontonan..

    1. Yah…tapi itulah kenyataannya.

      1. Jahat banget ya nih manusia:)

  7. ibuseno says:

    Belum pernah liat yg monyet naek egrang.. pinter ya 🙂

    1. Iya, asli seru lho..tapi kasian

  8. thebimz says:

    sometimes i thought that monkey dancer is a cruelty act, too. and i’m happy that this kind of show didn’t exist on my home environment anymore.

    1. Yeach, but in other places there’re still existed.

      1. thebimz says:

        for example in TB Simatupang (before toll ticket), on Sunter Kelapa Gading, and many more..

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